As the school year kicks off, Qatar’s private schools have again been reminded to respect Qatar’s religion, culture and values – or face legal action.
According to a circular distributed by the Supreme Education Council, schools may not distribute any books or material to students with words, pictures or symbols that don’t conform to “Islamic values and principles” and the country’s “heritage and traditions.”
The Peninsula reports:
The circular has asked the schools to make sure that all information given to students about Qatar is taken from authentic sources and is accurate. It is also mandatory for these schools to teach their Qatari students, if any, Qatari history and Islamic subjects.
Every school has been instructed to set up a special committee to scrutinise all its books and study material to ensure that they conform to the SEC guidelines.
The directive appears to be maddeningly vague and very much open to interpretation, so whether that means students in Qatar will never read Shakespeare, learn the basics of sex education or debate evolution versus creationism is unclear.
On its website, the SEC states that it aims to combine the “best practices from around the world with Qatar’s unique culture to ensure a bright future for every child – and the strong competitive growth of our nation.”
What do you guys think?
Can Qatar accomplish such a goal while simultaneously issuing warnings akin to censorship in its schools?